TOKYO, Japan --Graphisoft, best known for its stand-alone, desktop-based ArchiCAD, has rolled out a cloud offering. Its BIMcloud appears to be primarily for purposes of collaboration. Having a BIM model on the cloud will allow far-flung users to work on different aspect of the same model.
A main advantage of BIMcloud over Autodesk’s Revit Server appears to be its lack of complexity, says Viktor Varkonyi, CEO of Graphisoft. It can be used with as little as one server (which may be even be run of the mill PC) as opposed to Revit Server, which requires one server for each physical office location.
Can it be this simple? GS BIMcloud (left) can turn a single ordinary PC into a server and can be installed by a small firm with no IT support. By contrast, Revit Server, needs a server at each location, rented VPN and lots of IT.
Indeed, Graphisoft BIMcloud looks startlingly simple, as if could take a computer I no longer have any user for, plug it into the network, and voila! I have a server that can dispense drawings and help my colleagues collaborate. As if. It won’t be that easy, of course. It will take time and effort and require tech support phone calls, Googling for help, being forced to learn arcane commands unique to servers, stuff beyond my training, job description and interest, cajoling and cursing, but if I were to believe Graphisoft at all, I may have a chance of getting it right. That is their claim.
I contrast that to a demo I received of Revit Server which seemed to revel in complexity. Granted, the demo was delivered by a consultant whose main interest was in showing mastery over a beast, and it would benefit him for all to pay him as there was no hope of an ordinary person. Still, I marvelled at how a product could spawn a minor industry in its implementation and maintenance.
A few other notable distinctions about GS BIM Cloud:
- Revit requires a server in each office and a VPN connection. Graphisoft only one and no VPN connection.
- Graphisoft uses Delta-Server patented technology
For more information:
- GRAPHISOFT BIMcloud - corporate product site
- Graphisoft in Japan: Pictures and Notes from the BIMcloud Trip by Anthony Frausto-Robledo AIA, LEED AP
- In upFront.eZine this week: all about BIMcloud and how Graphisoft is getting over its Revit-envy, by Ralph Grabowski